Android Leads UK Smartphone Race

Android LogoIn the UK, Android is beginning to dominate the smartphone space, with 50% of handsets sold in the last quarter running Android. RIM (Blackberry) and Apple are almost level pegging on 22% and 18% and with half of UK adults now owning a smartphone, Android has an impressive lead.

Breaking the Android figures down, HTC is the top dog, with nearly 45% of Android handsets sold. Samsung is picking up the pace at 38% but Sony Ericsson is the big loser, falling to 8.5% of the Android market.

Surprisingly, this means that HTC, Samsung, RIM and Apple are each taking about a quarter of the market. Compared with mindshare that Apple generally has and the dominance in the tablet market, it’s clear that the iPhone is under performing.

Personally, I would agree with the figures. Looking round the office, Android phones are definitely in the majority followed by iPhones and Blackberries. I think Blackberries are popular with younger people as both my nephews have that brand of phone. The breakdown of the Android shares also rings true. This time last year, it would have been exclusively HTC smartphones but now there are quite a few people sporting Samsung devices.

The research was carried out by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech over the past 12 weeks. To be fair, this probably means that iPhone sales were down as people waited for new model but there’s no doubt that Android is the no.1 smartphone OS in the UK.


5 thoughts on “Android Leads UK Smartphone Race

  1. John,
    I honestly don’t know but I could make a couple of suggestions for investigation.
    i) The tablet v. mobile split would be interesting as it could be that iPads alone are responsible for the growth. This would be my favourite theory.
    ii) Perhaps Android users aren’t great web surfers – fairly weak suggestion, I know.
    iii) Possibly iOS growth is strong outside of the US and UK, e.g. Japan or China, but Android isn’t doing so well there because other OS’s eg. Baidu are strong there.
    You may be able to think of others, too.

  2. I’m glad you pointed those things out, all totally correct of course but that neatly leads me onto the main point I wanted to make as a consequence.

    The RATE of increase of traffic (i.e. the difference that adding additional devices makes) is actually greater for iOS so if you ignore the placement of graph lines and plonk the two trends on top of each other the one for Safari is actually increasing at a faster rate.

    It’s impossible that iOS devices as a whole outsell Android devices as a total, so what’s that all about?

  3. As with all of these things, you have to make sure that you compare apples with oranges. The browser market share graph reflects
    a) total ownership, not just last three months sales.
    b) tablet usage as well as smartphone usage
    So with over 100 million iPhones and about 20 million iPads, it’s not entirely surprising that Safari dominates.
    And if you look closely at the graph, you’ll see that both Android and Safari have risen in the last month, largely at the expense of Opera, it seems (who uses Opera? Nokia?)

  4. With all the cheap or free Android handsets being given away this is no surprise. This is traditional space for Nokia and I think they are the ones suffering in all of this.

    People I know with “premium” Android handsets – not so many if I am frank, or at least not what I’d call premium. Much more difficult to judge with RIM as I don’t quite rate BB’s as highly featured in that sense anyway.

    Also I am not sure that “sold” handsets are quite as you say. I know for certain that Apple’s figures are always quoted for activations but things are very unclear when Android handset manufacturers quote their figures, they always seem to be handsets that have entered the logistics channels when you dig a little deeper.

    More telling are the figures below.

    Not only are they effectively realtime, they are cribbed from actual independent data and yet do not reflect the astronomical growth that Android is supposedly experiencing.

    Any thoughts on why this may be?

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